Having really liked other offerings from the brand, I expected great things from the Katusha Allure Women's bib shorts. While they're a reliable pair of shorts, they were found wanting in one or two areas, making it really difficult to justify the well above average price tag.
A relatively new name in the world of cycling apparel, Katusha Sports are probably still not on many rider's radars, but on the basis of the corresponding Katusha Allure Jersey (opens in new tab) and the Katusha Icon Jersey (opens in new tab) reviews, I was expecting great things from the Allure bib shorts.
Mirroring the Allure Jersey, the Katusha Allure bib shorts also include the use of the 37.5 fabric. The detailed lowdown on the fabric can be found here (opens in new tab), but in essence, it's a volcanic sand based fabric that helps regulate the body to it's ideal 37.5 degree temperature.
It sounds pretty far out, but as I said in the Allure jersey review, it's an independent fabric house with big backing in the form of Adidas, Salomon, Cahartt to name but a few, and it's been peer-reviewed so I continue to remain open-minded as to it's effectiveness.
The bib aspect of the Katusha Allure bib shorts is not that dissimilar to that of the latest dhb Aeron women's bib shorts with the cross over front and back. Although this time the low front waistline is countered by the high rear infill panel, which has been designed to prevent the straps from twisting as well as providing additional support to the structure of the short.
Down below is a Teosport TM Armadillo chamois, which although isn't as well known as other brand's pads, isn't lacking in technological claims. Naturally, it's women's specific, the chamois uses a range of thicknesses combined with specific areas of shock absorption and breathability to create what it calls an extremely flexible and lightweight pad.
The size small shorts are certainly small. The tacky silicone five centimeters of leg gripper does grip your legs and ensure, that once on, the Katusha Allure Women's shorts aren't going anywhere, no matter how much riding you put them through. For me they were too tight, and it's something that I'm not particularly keen on as it distracts me when riding, I often found myself readjusting the leg to seek out a smoother skin to shorts transition.
I might not bother most riders, although it will mean that you will probably have an imprint on your thigh for a few hours post-ride, something to think about if your post-ride civi-wear comes up short of this line.
The TM Armadillo pad was comfortable in the main, but measuring seven centimeters at the front, I personally found it slightly too wide. This didn't present an issue over the handful of hour test rides, but I would be apprehensive about a big day out in them.
Whilst I do have criticisms, in the main the Allure's are a nice pair of shorts that are good for warm weather rides, and weighing just 156 grams, they're on a par with other lightweight offerings on the market, such as the Alé Green Road Lady bib shorts, making them a pretty easy go to pair for most of summer.
However at €180.00 (around £160 at the time of writing this review), I feel they need to be exceptional and I'm just struggling to see any standout feature that really justifies the high-end price.
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Hannah is Cycling Weekly’s longest-serving tech writer, having started with the magazine back in 2011. She has covered all things technical for both print and digital over multiple seasons representing CW at spring Classics, and Grand Tours and all races in between.
Hannah was a successful road and track racer herself, competing in UCI races all over Europe as well as in China, Pakistan and New Zealand.
For fun, she's ridden LEJOG unaided, a lap of Majorca in a day, won a 24-hour mountain bike race and tackled famous mountain passes in the French Alps, Pyrenees, Dolomites and Himalayas.
She lives just outside the Peak District National Park near Manchester UK with her partner, daughter and a small but beautifully formed bike collection.
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